It has been a tough few weeks for Mississippi State women's basketball as the team has been hit hard by players opting to hop into the NCAA transfer portal. Six Bulldogs have decided to explore their options elsewhere since the season ended, however on Wednesday, MSU head coach Nikki McCray-Penson began putting her pieces back together. And she started with a player with quite an impressive resume. Here's more on JerKaila Jordan – the newest Bulldog – courtesy of Mississippi State media relations:
Mississippi State women’s basketball head coach Nikki McCray-Penson announced Wednesday the signing of JerKaila Jordan, the 2021 American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
“JerKaila is a high character, hardworking, blue-collar player that has proven to be a very efficient scorer against multiple defenses,” said McCray-Penson. “She was the freshman of the year in a competitive conference, and we think she’s going to be able to help us both offensively and defensively. She is coming in with the mentality that she wants to win and help us compete for championships.”
Jordan joins the Bulldogs after spending her freshman season at Tulane, where she led the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) and steals (2.3 spg) while also averaging 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She earned All-AAC First Team honors for the campaign, which saw her post 10 20-point efforts, and became the first player in program history to be named freshman of the year.
The New Orleans, Louisiana, native was a seven-time AAC Freshman of the Week recipient and earned conference Player of the Week honors once. She set the Green Wave single-season freshman scoring record with 450 points on the year behind 24 double-digit scoring performances. Jordan was one of three freshmen in all of Division I to record three straight games with at least 28 points, joining UConn’s Paige Bueckers and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark.
The high-scoring streak began with Jordan dropping a then-career high 28 points against UCF to go along with six boards, four steals and three assists. She followed up that performance with back-to-back 29-point games against USF and Memphis.
Defensively, Jordan finished with multiple steals in 19 games and recorded four or more steals five times. The 5-9 guard also posted 18 blocks on the year. She notched a season-high six steals against Cincinnati.
Prior to enrolling at Tulane, Jordan was a standout player at John Curtis High School, where she led her team to four straight state championships while earning MVP of the contest all four years. She logged 23.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game as a senior en route to being named the 2020 Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss Basketball in Louisiana. The former five-star recruit was the top-ranked player from Louisiana and was 45th nationally, according to ESPN.
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